Background: Nucleotide duplications in exon 4 of the ferritin light polypeptide (FTL) gene cause the autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disease neuroferritinopathy or hereditary ferritinopathy (HF). Pathologic examination of patients with HF has shown abnormal ferritin and iron accumulation in neurons and glia in the central nervous system (CNS) as well as in cells of other organ systems, including skin fibroblasts. To gain some understanding on the molecular basis of HF, we characterized iron metabolism in primary cultures of human skin fibroblasts from an individual with the FTL c.497-498dupTC mutation. Results. Compared to normal controls, HF fibroblasts showed abnormal iron metabolism consisting of increased levels of ferritin polypeptides, divalent metal transporter 1, basal iron content and reactive oxygen species, and decreased levels of transferrin receptor-1 and IRE-IRP binding activity. Conclusions. Our data indicates that HF fibroblasts replicate the abnormal iron metabolism observed in the CNS of patients with HF. We propose that HF fibroblasts are a unique cellular model in which to study the role of abnormal iron metabolism in the pathogenesis of HF without artifacts derived from over-expression or lack of endogenous translational regulatory elements.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Clinical Neurology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience